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Silky Chocolate Soup

July 28, 2015

Somewhere between chocolate mousse and hot chocolate lurks the mysterious world of chocolate soup. Captivatingly smooth and richly aromatic, this soup is nestled firmly in the dedicated chocaholic’s sphere. Warm chocolate that requires almost no effort to enjoy is a treat beyond compare.

Soup by its very nature isn’t difficult to put together, and this soup comes together fairly easily as well. But it does have some cantankerous components that require gentle handling. Notably, the chocolate. We’ll be cooking this soup over direct, but very low heat in a heavy bottomed sauce pan to keep from scalding the chocolate. It also helps that we’ve got plenty of milk for lubrication. And once everything is completely melted and combined, the temperature can come up a bit to melt every last cocoa butter solid into smooth perfection.

Because this is a sweet dessert, and much of the liquid also contains fat, we need to make sure the salt for this dish is very finely ground or even pulverized in a mortar and pestle for even flavoring. No one wants a salty pocket in their sweet soup. Don’t be tempted to leave this ingredient out. Without salt, sweet foods taste bland, albeit sweetly bland. The right amount of salt perfectly enhances sugar’s sweetening properties and provides a depth of flavor to sweet foods.

As mentioned above, heating chocolate, and any other foods that are high in solid vegetable fats such as peanut butter, simply heating the chocolate until it combines with the milk isn’t sufficient. Although that is the first step. A slightly higher temperature will help the solid fat melt completely. You’ll know when this has happened since the consistency will change from liquid to quite viscous very quickly and any individual chocolate grains you might have been able to see should completely disappear. Once you’ve reached this stage, the soup is done. Any more heating will only damage the delicate chocolate suspended in the liquid matrix.

The last few ingredients—the vanilla and espresso powder—are added off heat and whisked to combine. Vanilla’s fragile and volatile compounds can’t take sustained heat and further cooking coffee will only make it bitter. Those flavorings are best left full-strength at the end.

A simple fruit garnish and a cool dollop of cream are all that remain for this soup to go from mouthwateringly delicious to eye-poppingly gorgeous as well. Let soup finish your next party gathering.

Silky Chocolate Soup

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ozs)
  • 1 bag Guittard bittersweet chocolate baking wafers (12 ozs.)
  • ¼ cup coffee-flavored liqueur, Kahlúa
  • ½ teaspoon very finely ground kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder 

Stir the vanilla and espresso powder together in a small bowl and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over low heat. Whisk constantly until the chocolate has melted, about 15 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium and continue whisking until the soup becomes very smooth and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and espresso. Let the soup cool to 100°F (body temperature). Serve at this temperature topped with fruit salsa (below) and whipped cream.

Fruit Salsa

  • 1 kiwi, peeled and diced fine
  • 3-4 large strawberries, hulled and diced fine
  • ½ cup of fresh pineapple, diced fine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 

Toss the fruit with the sugar and let stand 15 minutes, or while soup is cooling.

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